Personal budgets give people and their carers greater choice and control over the social care services they receive. Users can tailor services to meet their specific needs and carers can use them to take a well earned break.
Personal budgets were introduced in 1996 but currently only 13 per cent of people who might need one have one. The Government expects councils to provide personal budgets to 1 million eligible people, preferably as a direct payment, by 2013.
Carers will be able to use their own personal budget to spend on taking a break from their caring responsibility - whether that's time to pursue a hobby, take a holiday or have some time to themselves. The Government is making £400 million available through the NHS over the next four years to support carers' breaks.